Tuesday 16 July 2019

Fred Barry appointed as chairman of the new National Children's Hospital

Fred Barry
Photo: Tom Burke
Fred Barry Photo: Tom Burke
The site of the hospital
An artist's impression of the National Children’s Hospital
Health Minister Simon Harris said individuals could face sanctions over National Children’s Hospital cost overruns (Niall Carson/PA Wire)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Health Minister Simon Harris has appointed Fred Barry, a former chairperson of the National Roads Authority, to chair the board responsible for building the new National Children's Hospital.

It follows the decision of the former hospital chairman Tom Costello to step down amid the controversy over the escalating expense of the new children’s hospital, which will cost at least €1.4bn to construct.

He said Mr Barry is a former chairperson of the National Roads Authority and has vast experience in managing complex projects.   

"I want to thank Mr Barry for taking up this role. The National Children's Hospital is the most significant investment in children's healthcare in this country.

An artist's impression of the National Children’s Hospital
An artist's impression of the National Children’s Hospital

"Mr Barry's experience and leadership will be invaluable to ensuring the next phase of this project is delivered for future generations."

The Minister also said he had  revised terms of reference for the PwC review into the cost escalation of the hospital.

“The review will deal with the accountability of the relevant key parties, functions and roles,” he said.

The review will be completed by March 29, 2019, subject to availability of relevant documentation and personnel, and will inform any governance or other changes required.

The review will deal with “accountability of the relevant key parties, functions and roles. This may inform appropriate next steps by decision makers, including Government.”

The review will:

  • Establish the sequence of events in relation to the cost increases experienced by the project.
  • Establish what was known, when and by whom, and the reporting of relevant information from the project team to the relevant oversight and governance bodies including NPHDB Board and its Committees, the HSE and the Department of Health.
  • Assess the processes, controls, decision-making and oversight arrangements in relation to the planning and delivery of the project, including specifically the:
  1. Development and approval of the original business case / original design, budget and scope
  2. Development and approval of the construction/procurement strategy for the project
  3. Appointment of the main contractor, selection and execution of the construction contract
  4. Management of the main contract, in particular in relation to cost/budget and scope/change
  5. Design development process
  6. Assessment and valuation of risk at key decision points and on an ongoing basis
  7. Roles of key parties and accountability for the financial control and performance of the project
  • Establish the underlying root causes (processes, controls, governance and decisions taken) that have contributed to cost increases.
  • Comment on the major residual risks and the robustness/completeness of the current forecasts and identify and where possible quantify those risks contractually excluded from the GMP/adjusted contract sum.
  • Comment on the extent to which changes have been put in place by the NPHDB, the HSE and the Department of Health to address lessons learnt.
  • Develop any further recommendations, if possible, which may:
  1. Identify any areas of potential cost savings or reductions, which are consistent with the applicable contractual undertakings and the delivery of the project, in light of its current status
  2. Address major residual risks, control and oversight issues and
  3. Bring greater oversight of performance and value for money

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